The Thought Process of Cleaning Your Closet

Alright, Leandra. Today is the day. You’re going to clean out your closet.

If I sell half the contents of my current closet, will that cover the cost of buying all the other stuff I want? How much longer, realistically speaking, will I have to stare at these sweaters and, heaven forbid, wear them before it’s actually warm? Maybe if I will an end to winter, it’ll go away. That’s a reasonable idea.

Okay, there are one, two, three, four…twelve sweaters in this pile. I should discard half. I’ll start with the ones I have not worn since at least last winter. This beige one with the green stripes — it’s in pretty good shape — I’ve only worn, like, twice.

Sell? Sell. Ditto that for the red one. Oh! And this yellow one — what was I thinking when I bought a yellow sweater?

Alright, Marie Kondo! We are doing great!

…Actually, you know what, I’m going to want to wear it one day next week, I can feel it in my guts.


This chunky-ass one doesn’t fit inside coat sleeves but is too warm to wear when it’s not below freezing. Sell?

But it’s Christopher Kane! I got it on The Outnet for $175!

How many white shirts does one person need? There are 8 in here. I should get rid of at least four. This one is stained, this one I could donate, I have three mandarin collars so this one, which I’d never choose to wear over the other two, should go. How much could I get for a three-year-old white Céline button down that I found on The Real Real?

Sell! I think three of these striped ones could go, too. Or, actually, I’ve wanted a linen one for the beach. This can graduate from regular-wear to beachwear and save me the cost of something new. Keep.

I think I’m going to wear ankle-length shirt dresses completely unbuttoned with full piece bathing suits and espadrilles all summer. Let me not sell a single shirt dress.

Jeans? So many jeans. Hoping to be pregnant the next time I have to do this, so maybe just donate all aspirational jeans that don’t fit me now and will definitely not fit me then? What about these white ones? Are they period-stained? Maybe I’ll cut the ankles and sew them onto a cropped pair of blue ones that I wish were longer — the color contrast might look cool…

And these ones with the fringe! You know, I love them, but every single person I know has them, which makes me feel less like wearing them because they don’t feel like they’re mine. Sell! And what about these skirts? Should I donate these ones from Topshop, which I got during the sale for under $10 each but obviously never wore. Wtf, they still have tags? Donate.

Ugh, this Stella McCartney fruit print skirt will never, ever get old. And what about the dresses? Okay. Dresses. All shirt dresses stay. This mini dress goes. I’ve never worn it. Ditto that for this one. Hey! I forgot I had this slip dress. Now I don’t need to get one. Cool! Speaking of cool, all culottes must go. I’m so sorry, Rosie. Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell! Okay, those (bright green silk faille) I’ll keep. You never know. And what about all these TOPS? They’re so…complicated. I know I love the idea of this one with the pearls, but every time I put it on and try to make it work, I always take it off.


All these shoes could go. These ones with the ankle strap that always unbuckles for sure. These with the laces that hate remaining tied. This pair that doesn’t fit over my calves? I’ll get good money for these and…oh…these are beautiful. I’ll never wear them again but what memories! Do I keep?

Do I sell?

If there was a flood in here and all your stuff got ruined, would you really care to see these to the garbage? Probably not. Sell.

Am I a sociopath? The memories live in my head, not the garment. (Right?)

We’re now at: four garbage bags to sell, two to give away. Speaking of bags, I think my mom would like this tote. I can sell this clutch. This shoulder bag reminds me of my friend, I should give it to her, and this one is still in the box! Holiday re-gift? Just kidding.

Shit, that is a big pile of t-shirts. I think I only need one black one, two white ones and some of those striped ones. Donate.

Where are we at? Four full garbage bags? …Wait, is that it? Am I done? !!! I’m done!

And now, for the pantry.

Loewe elephant bag and Arme De L’Amour gold cuff; photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


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  • Serena

    This is my current life Leandra. Catharsis itself!!! Did you sleep like a baby that night in the knowledge that you had shed several pounds from your entire being?! (Also more Monocycle please!)

    • Lebanese Blonde

      Monocycle on closet cleaning please!

  • Last month, I found a website selling clothes plastered with works of art and I still can’t get over it. Would love to empty my wardrobe and go Full Artsy, but “luckily”, I don’t have enough euros for that, so this year, no discarding for me.

    (I did buy 3 scarves, though, I still had enough space for them)

  • Senka

    Good thing you’re not selling those gorgeous green coulottes, because image of you in those pants, with that black top and that hair, wearing red lipstick, is probably the only wedding guest outfit that should exist as an inspiration to anyone, anywhere. It doesn’t get better than that. Also, this article led me to the one where you write about desire to be a mom (shame on me for missing it in a past) and it makes me love you even more, because it’s beautifuly honest and brave. I’m sure you’ll be The coolest mom.

  • Debbie

    Honestly if Leander had a account on Depop.com the website would crash

    • Leandra Medine

      I *do* have a Depop account!@!@!

      • Debbie

        ong really?

  • Leeeaaandraaa sell us your culottes! :]

  • Tess de Grauw

    Keep the aspirational jeans – it feels really good zipping them up after you’ve been huge and preggo. You won’t look at them for like, 2 years, but when that zip glides and the button pops its magic!

  • My thought process: ‘keep everything .. ok this one top isn’t that great, that can go.’ But I’m pretty sure my whole wardrobe would fit into 4 garbage bags or less so I wouldn’t want to get rid of everything.

  • Yup Yup!! I recently cleaned out my closet so I can sorta kinda walk into it! I really need to discard more!! I have a tower high donate pile and a few bins left to sift through! It’s a journey to do this!! =P

  • This is so me! The satisfaction when you have done it though, ahh x


  • Haley Nahman

    But the 3x1sssssss!!!

  • chouette

    Can I trade in all my crap and get enough tickets for the elephant?? Where do you ladies sell? My vintage is falling flat on eBay and my Ghesquiere for Balenciaga jacket I just HAD to get when he left has not gotten any less too-small.

  • Meg

    My dad and I found out my crazy great aunt died on our way up to check on her on Sunday (she was a not nice human and old.) And she was a serious hoarder like piles of papers and jackets in the front entry — it was the first time anyone other than her had been in her place in years and years. Needless to say my spring cleaning purge is INTENSE this year.

  • Christina Nagiar

    This question might’ve already been asked – where do you sell them???? I’m going through this spring cleaning crisis this week and so far all I’ve done every year is donate donate donate !

  • Kelly

    This is the best feeling when you clear out all the stuff you don’t wear so you can replace it with new things! I have no problems doing it with clothing, but I have major fomo when clearing out accessories for some reason.

  • Lisa

    Maybe you should buy a bit less stuff if there are SO many things you didn’t wear at all?

  • I’m moving next month, which has been a GREAT inspiration to overhaul my closet. I’m a super lazy mover, so looking at everything through the lens of “Do I really want to bother packing and moving X?” has led me to expunge probably 40% of my wardrobe in the past few weeks. I’ve also (embarrassingly) managed to sell enough stuff with tags still attached on eBay to cover my new security deposit.

  • I tried to sort out my closet a few weeks ago. I chucked out a lot of stuff but now I regret getting rid of some pieces.